ATENEO booked a return trip to the finals with a 25-16, 25-12, 26-28, 25-20 victory over Adamson on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ysay Marasigan had 23 points and Marck Espejo added 22 as the top-seeded Blue Eagles, with a twice-to-beat advantage, disposed of the fourth-ranked Falcons in one match.
The Ateneo men’s squad joined its women’s team in the finals. The Lady Eagles made it to the finals with a 14-match sweep of the elimination round.
“Thank God we are back in the finals. The players really worked hard na hindi na umabot ng five sets or ng isa pang game,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
Main man Espejo got support from Marasigan, who had 14 attacks and five blocks in the victory.
“Hindi kami puwedeng mag-concetrate lang kay Marck Espejo. Although siya ang go-to-guy namin, we have to maximize everybody,” said Almadro.
The Eagles now wait as reigning champion National University forced a decider for the last finals seat after beating University of Santo Tomas, 26-24, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21.
Peter Torres and Jan Paglinawan each had 19 points as they led the third-seeded Bulldogs in forcing a knockout match for a finals seat set on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The second-seeded Tigers lost despite a 37-point performance by Mark Gil Alfafara.
The Bulldogs of head coach Dante Alinsunurin swept Ateneo in last year’s championship series.